She is 6 feet tall, slight in weight, very soft spoken (a little coy even),ever smiling and is the proud owner of not only the most coveted beauty crown (which she probably will keep for a year)in the country but a prestigious title as well. She happens to be only 19 and the Miss Kenya 2011 -2012. Susan Anyango is her name and one thing you should know immediately is that she is not your average 19 year old. Within a few minutes into the interview I learn that this beauty seated right in front of me has been through a lot in her 19 years of life.
First of all I had to stop her from apologizing too much. She was just a few minutes late for our one on one which she explained was from traffic jam (always a bummer). Her smile greets you from whatever corner you are at and smile she loves to do. She is warm and polite. Someone you can see as being friends with instantly. It’s no wonder she won the most coveted crown… this girl is lovable! I’m guessing life is always supposed to change and become overwhelming for someone who holds such a prestigious crown in her hands but Susan is not really fazed by all that, she is comfortable with the little things that life brings her way. This you can see right from the start by how she is dressed. So simple in a check pilot shirt and skinny jeans and no make-up on her face whatsoever. She looked effortlessly good.
Susan, the last born in a family of three has been forced by circumstances to grow up. For a 19 year old you would expect some jumpy, hyper girl but she is so humble and lady like. She smiles a lot (a beautiful smile that she uses to hide all the pain I guess) which is a good thing. It helps bring out her warmth even more.
The touching story is that Susan lost both her folks at a very tender age. She lost her dad to liver complications at age 5 and her mum to leukemia at 12. I guess she has now come to terms with everything because she is so much at ease talking about it. She believes that life happens and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Humbled by the fact that she is alive Susan takes everything as it comes. Her friends had been urging her to try out the Miss Kenya pageant so she decided to give it a try. However, by the time she was deciding to have a go at it, the Nairobi finalists had already been picked so she did the next best thing which was to head off to Githurai and try out there. Luck was on her side as she was picked as a finalist for the Nestea Miss world Kenya. From there she went into the modeling Academy which she called a “shared home” for 5 weeks and beat 33 other beauties from all over the country to be crowned Miss Kenya 2011. Never was she put on probation during her stay in the Academy and thankful she remains. She is grateful to have been at the Academy because she learnt so much and she met amazing beautiful people too.
Now she waits for the final Miss World round which will be held in London in October. Meanwhile she undergoes beauty pageant coaching as well as researching more on cancer as she founded a Cancer awareness foundation project which is something dear to her heart. She is also involved with the jigger campaign which is a former Miss Kenya’s initiative.
Susan hustles her way through life just like us to pay bills. The only difference is that she is too young to be having such responsibilities but she embraces it all as part of her life script. After cancer took her mum away, Susan was left at the mercy of her relatives and two brothers and this in some way made her what she is today. She helped send herself to high school (Kerugoya Girls) after which she decided to try life on her own. She rented a small apartment in South B just before she cleared high school two years ago and has lived there since. Through life’s little mercies and a bit of inheritance she got from her folks Susan is paying her way through University as she strongly believes that education really matters.
Susan looks up to Tyra Banks as her overall role model. She explains that her choice is because “Tyra is smart and she does what she believes in no matter what people say or think of her. She does what her heart desires and she does it with a passion and I love just that.” She knows only too well that this is just when life is starting but she prays that one day she will get to where Tyra is. Her number one role model however remains her mum, because “she was an awesome woman” she explains.
Miss Anyango is a first learner and you don’t have to explain something twice to her. I bet school work must come easy for her. She takes direction easily and her shoot goes ever so smoothly. She doesn’t seem to mind photos of her being taken. She is very confident in front of the camera and the camera adores her. She would love a career in media production and hopes that one day she will be the one behind the video camera.
As for now, she has to take a break from school (which she pays for) and deal with the duties that come with the crown.
Being so down to earth Susan insists that nothing much has changed, only that people who she hasn’t talked to in ages are now looking for her suddenly. She can’t wait to go compete in London and get a different experience altogether. We believe she has what it takes.
“It feels great to be Miss Kenya. Certainly didn’t expect it as I gave it a try just for the sake of it but everything happens for a reason. ”
If Susan ever bumped into a genie and had one wish at stake it would be to see her parents alive again.
What you should know about Susan
*She is half Kenyan half Russian
*She prays, reads a lot and plays basketball (it’s called taking advantage of the height)
*She has two older brothers
*She has featured in a Safaricom advert
*She was once Miss Kerugoya for two years
*She owns a car (which she loves) which came with the crown. She says “at least no more matatus”
*She is studying Journalism and Communication at KEMU (Kenya Methodist University)
*She will participate in the Miss World competition in London come October
*She would love it if you voted for her when the time comes.